08 June 2018

Austria to shut seven 'political' mosques and expel imams

Austria has said it will close down seven mosques and expel imams who it says are funded by foreign countries.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the move was a crackdown on political Islam.

Some mosques are suspected of having links to Turkish nationalists. In April images emerged showing children in Turkish army uniforms re-enacting the World War One Battle of Gallipoli.

The Turkish president's office called Austria's move "Islamophobic, racist and discriminatory".

.... The Austrian government says 60 of the 260 imams in the country are being investigated, of whom 40 belong to ATIB, an Islamic organisation in Austria close to the Turkish government.

"Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation tendencies have no place in our country," said Chancellor Kurz on Friday. [BBC] Read more

Turkey condemns Austria's 'racist' move to close seven mosques

Austrian chancellor says country can no longer put up with ‘parallel societies’.

As many as 60 Turkish imams and their families face expulsion from Austria and seven mosques are due to be closed under a clampdown on what the government has called “political Islam”.

Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said the country could no longer put up with “parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation,” which he said had “no place in our country”.

The announcement at a press conference by leading members of the coalition government, which comprises the centre-right People’s party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ), prompted a furious reaction from Ankara, which called the move anti-Islamic.

“Austria’s decision to shut down numerous mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country,” tweeted İbrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. [The Guardian] Read more

Austria to expel up to 60 imams, close 7 mosques

Austria said Friday it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and would shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on "political Islam", triggering fury in Ankara.

"The circle of people possibly affected by these measures -- the pool that we're talking about -- comprises around 60 imams," said Interior Minister Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), the junior partner in Austria's coalition government.

Kickl was referring to imams with alleged links to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB) organisation, a branch of Turkey's religious affairs agency Diyanet.

Kickl added the government suspects them of contravening a ban on foreign funding of religious office holders.

The ministry said 40 of them had an active application for extending their residency and that a number of these had already been referred to immigration authorities, where a process for expelling them was underway.

Once family members were taken into account, a total of 150 people risked losing their right to residence, Kickl told a Vienna press conference. [AFP] Read more

Austria to Close 7 Mosques, Expel Imams in Crackdown

Austria's government said Friday that it is closing seven mosques and plans to expel imams in a crackdown on "political Islam" and foreign financing of religious groups.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques.

The actions by the government are based on a 2015 law that, among other things, prevents religious communities from getting funding from abroad. Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said the residence permits of around 40 imams employed by ATIB, a group that oversees Turkish mosques in Austria, are being reviewed because of concerns about such financing.

.... "Parallel societies, political Islam and tendencies toward radicalization have no place in our country," Kurz told reporters in Vienna. He added that the government's powers to intervene "were not sufficiently used" in the past. [AP] Read more

07 June 2018

Turkey criticizes Rotterdam mayor for allowing Pegida protest at mosque

Turkey fiercely criticized Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb for allowing anti-Islam movement Pegida to roast pigs in front of the Laleli mosque on Thursday evening. On Twitter Omer Celik, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the decision to allow this protest "immoral".

"Other municipalities in the Netherlands did not allow Pegida to roast pigs in front of mosques at the fast-breaking time", Celik tweeted. "However, Ahmet Abutalib, Mayor of Rotterdam, who is of Moroccan origin, thinks that this activity of Pegida is not against the law. Such a gross tragedy!"

The mayors of The Hague, Utrecht, Gouda and Arnhem, among others, decided to stop the demonstration at the mosques, but did give Pegida the option to protest elsewhere in the cities, according to NOS. In Utrecht Pegida went to court to overturn this decision, but the court ruled in favor of the municipality.

"Mr. Abutalib, from a Muslim family, says that organizing a demonstration is a fundamental legal right. Since when has disrespect to mosques become a legal right? Any disrespect to mosques, churches and synagogues is a hate crime", Celik wrote. He said that Turkish and Muslim organizations in Rotterdam will lay flowers around the mosque while Pegida holds their barbeque to "erect a wall of love with flowers against the odor of hate". "This is a true lesson of humanity." [NL Times] Read more

06 June 2018

Sajid Javid lashes out at trolls for jibing that he is 'not Muslim enough' after rejecting claims of widespread Islamophobia in Tory party

Sajid Javid has lashed out at trolls for jibing that he is 'not Muslim enough' after he rejected claims of widespread Islamaphobia in the Conservative Party.

The new Home Secretary highlighted the wave of vile abuse he has received since taking on his high-profile job.

He said he had been branded a 'Coconut' and 'Uncle Tom', and some people had even questioned whether he was 'really Muslim or not'.

The comments, at a meeting of the cross-party group on British Muslims last night, come amid a bitter row over whether the Tories have failed to deal with allegations of Islamophobia.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) demanded an inquiry into 'racists and bigots' in the Conservative Party last week, highlighting a series of alleged incidents involving activists.

Mr Javid - a non-practising Muslim - hit back over the weekend, pointing out that he had been made Home Secretary in a Tory government.

He also questioned whether the MCB was a legitimate voice for the Muslim community.

Jeremy Corbyn sparked disbelief yesterday by adding his voice to calls for an inquiry into the incidents - even though he himself has face an outcry for failing to tackle anti-Semitism in Labour. [Daily Mail] Read more

In defence of the Prevent programme

A few years ago, a teacher friend told me that she had been administering an English speaking and listening exam to her group of Year 11s. Having instructed them to prepare a speech making an argument they would have to defend under questioning, nothing in her training had prepared her for the opening statement of one young man’s strident speech: "9/11 was invented to kill Muslims".

Terminating the exam and reviewing the rest of his notes, she found references to Zionist conspiracies, garbled slogans and a deep-seated hatred of the American and British governments. Despite the fact that she passed on her concerns about his vulnerability to potential extremist influences, no action was taken. Maybe a decision was taken to ease off because of his difficult home life or maybe his explanation about creating a persona was given the benefit of the doubt.

.... Outside the home, for many of these children, teachers are their connection with the wider world; their guides and guardians. We can’t just abandon them to face a rising tide of extremism and hate alone. [tes] Read more

Harun Khan of the Muslim Council of Britain – Political Fraudster

Harun Khan, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), likes to strike an aggrieved innocent pose. He has been at the forefront of the MCB’s new campaign for an “inquiry” into “Islamophobia” in the Conservative party, offering words like these:

"We have long spoken out and proactively challenged terrorism and extremism, as have British Muslims across the country."

"The reality of Islamophobia is that Muslims and the Muslim Council of Britain have to deal with the smear of extremism even though they have clearly and consistently condemned violence perpetrated by people who claim to do this in the name of our religion."

Oh dear, Harun, oh dear.

On the MCB website, Khan proudly states this that he is “a management committee member at my local mosque, Redbridge Islamic Centre”.

Would that be the Redbrige Islamic Centre (RIC) that hosted the terrorist cheerleaders of Cage earlier this year? Why, yes, it would. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Norway bans burqa and niqab in schools

Norway’s parliament on Tuesday passed a bill banning clothing that partially or fully covers the face from being worn at educational institutions.

The bill applies to students and teachers alike, as well as to staff at daycare centres, in 'teaching situations'. It was backed by a majority in two rounds of voting separated by three days, in accordance with Norway’s parliamentary procedure, media including VG and Bergens Tidende report.

Representatives from the Socialist Left, Red and Green parties voted against the bill.

The Socialist Left voted in favour of applying the ban to teaching staff but not to students.

The anti-immigration Progress Party expressed its delight at the passing of the bill.

“This is very good news. When Progress in 2003 proposed a total ban on the niqab and burqa, we were laughed at. We see now that we have succeeded in bringing the political environment around to our viewpoint,” Åshild Bruun-Gundersen, an MP with the party, told Bergens Tidende.

“In a few years’ time, we believe that Norwegian politicians will be ready to pass a total ban on the niqab in public,” Bruun-Gundersen added. [The Local] Read more

Conservatives hoping Islamophobia issue 'will magically go away', warns senior party activist

The chairman of the Conservative Party’s own Muslim forum has accused the Tories of failing to root out Islamophobia because they are scared of damaging their own political power.

Mohammed Amin said the party does not want to “rock the boat” with a contentious racism probe at a time when it lacks a Commons majority, and instead is hoping the issue “will magically go away”.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum (CMF), itself comprising party members and set up to encourage Islamic people to stand for office under the Tory banner, claimed repeated warnings about the problem had been ignored.

It comes as further evidence of Islamophobia came to light, including:

Five BME Tory members being seated on a single table at the back of a room at a Conservative association dinner

One Muslim member telling how a councillor had told him he was “not welcome” in the party

The same member later being told during a candidate’s interview that “naturally in your core belief women are not allowed to work” [The Independent] Read more

05 June 2018

Met Police confirm that criticism of Islam constitutes ‘Islamophobia’

.... So, if you believe Islam is inferior to Christianity; or that Islamic society and culture are inferior to “the West”, you may be arrested for Islamophobia. If you believe Islam is “sexist”, you may be arrested for Islamophobia. If you believe Islam is “violent” or “aggressive”, you may be arrested for Islamophobia. Astonishingly, if you believe Islam to be an expression of political ideology (or is used for “political advantage”), you may be arrested for Islamophobia.

The Met police appear to be oblivious of what’s been going on in Tower Hamlets. Do not all religions agitate for political advantage? Why should it be Islamophobic to point out specific examples of Muslims doing so?

The Met may make appeal to the definition of the Runnymede Trust, but there is a world of difference between a think-tank developing guidelines for community and fraternity, and an agency of law enforcement incorporating these definitions into a definition of criminal activity. How many police officers are aware of the history of Islam? How many grasp the theology of the long-prophesied Caliphate?

How many understand the theo-political differences and divergences between its multiple sects? (May one say ‘theo-political’ or does that fall foul of equating the religion with a political ideology?) Is Wahhabism or Saudi Salafism an expression of Islam? If so, how can it be Islamophobic to articulate the bald truth of its violent, aggressive “clash of civilisations” theological genesis and political nature? [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Sajid Javid speech: Home secretary says Islamist terrorists are twisting Muslim faith

.... Mr Javid, who is Britain’s first Muslim-heritage Home Secretary, said those who commit terror attacks and self-identify as Muslims are “twisting their faith”.

In a highly personal speech in which he outlined his new anti-terror strategy, Contest, he praised British Muslims leading the fight against extremists by “throwing them out of their mosques and countering their poison online”.

.... Mr Javid said that after the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, he had a heart-breaking conversation with his 11-year-old daughter trying to explain what had happened.

“I had to explain that these murderers called themselves Muslims. That they were invoking the religion of my parents, and my grandparents, and countless generations of Javids before them.

“Of course, I know they are not true Muslims, but there’s no avoiding the face that these people self-identify as Muslims.” [Evening Standard] Read more

04 June 2018

Inside Britain's secretive sharia courts: Veil is lifted on the religious tribunals where downtrodden women plead with judges to dissolve their marriages

What strikes you first is the squalid nature of the women’s stories. Their husbands have beaten and abused them, they claim; lied and cheated, cavorted with prostitutes, become addicted to drugs.

One weeping wife even accuses her spouse of molesting her infant child.

Wearing colourful headscarves and robes, and often clutching handbags stuffed with banknotes to pay the £300 fee for their cases to be decided, this procession of downtrodden women have come before a panel of three judges to plead for their miserable marriages to be dissolved.

.... his claim to offer a modern alternative to the brand of sharia handed down in Dewsbury is rather undermined by the shockingly patriarchal posts I found on his council’s Facebook page.

‘The rights of the husband upon his wife are greater than the rights of the wife upon the husband,’ began one, said to have been taken from the Koran. ‘Man is caretaker of his wife and household. He is responsible for all her affairs. He is responsible for training, direction and discipline if needed.

‘It is an essential right of man over his wife to be obeyed so long as his comments do not conflict or contradict the commands of Allah the Almighty . . . righteous women are devoutly obedient.’

[TOP RATED COMMENT 5432 votes] As a muslim woman, I married under UK law and Islamic marriage. If my marriage broke down - I only need to seek a UK divorce. The problem arises when you marry under Islamic law only. This should not be happening! Sharia courts should not function in the UK as it clashes with the law of the Land i.e british laws. I am glad I dont live in a country where old men decide I should obey my abusive husband! [Daily Mail] Read more

03 June 2018

Sajid Javid slams 'unrepresentative' Muslim Council of Britain as he dismisses claims of widespread Islamophobia in Tory party

Sajid Javid slammed the 'unrepresentative' Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) today as he dismissed claims of widespread Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

The stinging rebuke came after the MCB demanded an inquiry into 'racists and bigots' in the party, highlighting a series of alleged incidents involving activists.

Former Tory chair Baroness Warsi also backed an investigation last week, complaining that the party tended to 'shrug its shoulders' over such claims.

But asked about the issue on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, Mr Javid pointed out that he had been made Home Secretary in a Tory government - and questioned whether the MCB was a legitimate voice for the muslim community.

'I have got a lot of time for Baroness Warsi, but I am afraid I don't agree with her,' he said.

'As you just described me, I am Sajid Javid, I am the Home Secretary in this country...

'The MCB does not represent muslims in this country. You find me a group of muslims that are represented by the MCB.'

Mr Javid - who is from a muslim background but non-practising - said there were issues of 'anti-muslim hatred' as well as anti-Semitism in the UK. [Daily Mail] Read more

Sajid Javid in Muslim Council of Britain spat over Islamophobia claims

Home Secretary Sajid Javid sparked a row with the Muslim Council of Britain after he rejected their call for an independent inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.

Demanding action from Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis last week, the council said the last month it had seen weekly incidents of Islamophobia from Conservative representatives and candidates.

Former Tory chair Baroness Warsi backed up the claims and suggested there is a "simmering anti-Muslim underbelly of Islamophobia within the party".

However, Mr Javid, appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, dismissed the Conservative peer's comments, as he pointed to his Muslim background.

He said: "For a start, let's just look at who the home secretary is in this country. My name is Sajid Javid, I'm the home secretary."

Mr Javid also dismissed the demand for an investigation, adding: "The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims in this country. You find me a group of Muslims that thinks they're represented by the MCB. [Sky News] Read more

'You will get your head chopped off' - Scots Muslim writer threatened by extremists

A SCOTS writer has been threatened with beheading by extremists after he claimed fasting between dawn and sunset during the month of Ramadan is not a requirement in the Quran, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

Paigham Mustafa and his family have been offered protection by police after several fundamentalists branded him a "Kafir", which means disbeliever, and issued death threats.

Mustafa claims to be living under a fatwa issued in 2001 by 15 imams in Glasgow after he published a series of articles questioning mosque teachings. The married father of three later published his book The Quran: God's Message to Mankind, his interpretation of the central religious text of Islam. [Herald Scotland] Read more

The wind in my hair: one Iranian woman’s courageous struggle against being forced to wear the hijab

Masih Alinejad unties her hair, and a sea of corkscrew curls cascades down her shoulders. It looks amazing, but the significance of Masih’s hair isn’t looks – it’s politics. Masih is an Iranian activist who has spent her life fighting for women’s rights in her country through one simple battle: a campaign against the law that says they have to wear a veil, or hijab, over their hair when they’re in public.

.... Her ambition, of course, is to return to Iran, and she says that in her heart she believes she will. “But for now, though I am not inside Iran, I am there every day via social media. When I was a child my mum would say: ‘If you get thrown out of the room, you always find a window to get back in.’ And now social media is my window. The authorities are watching me, and my campaign, because they know how powerful it is that ordinary women are protesting. We’re like the suffragettes, we’re risking breaking the law for something we absolutely know is right.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT 199 votes] Here, she reveals why all she wants is to give women the choice to wear the hijab or not

That's the whole point - for many women it's not a choice. So, to read piece after piece in the Guardian about how hijab is a sign of feminism is a slap in the cheek for women like Masih.

[2ND 177] When I see small girls wearing the Hijab on their way to school in the UK whilst their similar age brothers wear western clothes I cringe. I could understand it if the modesty rules apply to both boys and girls and men and women but to simply apply it to the female gender is discrimination of the highest order.

Why feminists in this country don’t stand up against this extreme form of discrimination is beyond me. Anyone who thinks it is acceptable for young girls to be fully covered (how uncomfortable they must be in this hot weather) with only faces showing whilst young boys are allowed to wear what they like are also guilty of supporting discrimination. It is nothing to do with religion but purely subjugation of girls and women from the moment they are born.

[3RD 157] I am Iranian and totally agree with masih. majarity of women in Iran dont want to wear hijab and want to be free what to wear, is it to much to ask in 21 century?

[4TH 145] I'll accept the hijab as a choice when I see it mixed up as a part of a varied wardrobe; hijab on a Monday, slumming it in a t-shirt and jeans on Tuesday to go get bread and milk, a summer dress on Wednesday because it's 90 degrees in the shade... But no. Remarkably, it's hijabs 7 days a week, no matter the weather or the activity. Odd, innit?

If a bunch of priests and a significant percentage of menfolk in this country were proclaiming the virtue of 'modesty' (whatever the fuck that is) for women, we'd have bare tits in Parliament Square. The hijab is an obscenity in 2018 but it gets a free ride from some quarters because of cowardice, quite frankly.

[5TH 116] Great work Masih, I'm going to buy your book. The only thing that makes me angrier than the forced covering up of women and little girls in the name of a fictional being, is it being defended by a once liberal newspaper in the name of cultural correctness.

If I made my son my son wear a tent every time he left the house, re-arranged his genitalia and then forced him to marry a stranger because the fairies at the end of the garden told me to, I would quite rightly be in prison. [The Guardian] Read more

02 June 2018

Is Sherin Khankan the future of Islam?

Last year Sherin Khankan’s husband gave her an ultimatum: she could continue as Denmark’s first female imam or remain his wife. “Blood will be spilt and marriages dissolved when women challenge male dominance,” she concludes in her new book. “That’s the price of change. I know, because it happened to me.”

It was not that her husband opposed her creation of the Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen where she leads women – both veiled and bare-headed – in Friday prayers. Rather, Khankan insists, he was concerned for their four young children and frightened for her. When a Le Monde journalist asked what trait enabled his wife to combat Islamists and Islamophobes alike, he replied, “Fearlessness.” “And he’s afraid of that fearlessness,” she says. “I think that many people support the revolution, but they just don’t want the leader to be their wife.”

.... She is also rare in conducting interfaith marriages. Her first couple were Swedish, a Christian man and a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin, who wished to honour each other’s religion but not convert. They’d been turned down by 96 imams across Europe. This intransigence, Khankan believes, is a barrier to Muslims feeling they belong in the west. “You hear some parents say, ‘It’s not a problem to us because we have raised our children well, so they won’t fall in love with a non-Muslim.’” [The Times (£)] Read more

UK: A New Drive for Islamic Blasphemy Laws?

It is reasonable to assume that the planned report and the ensuing work on finding a definition of "Islamophobia" is meant effectively to destroy the little that remains of free speech in the UK.

.... Despite the government's focused activity on fighting "Islamophobia", the APPG for British Muslims remained dissatisfied. In October 2017, Baroness Warsi declared that "it is high time to have a definition of Islamophobia, and that to fundamentally challenge the hate that underpins hate crime, we need to define what that hate is".

Warsi therefore invited the British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, "to meet with a cross-section of community organisations and individuals, led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, to work towards a definition".

Lord Bourne responded that he would be happy to meet with the group but that he did not accept the need for a definitive definition of Islamophobia. According to Bourne, the government "does not currently endorse a particular definition of Islamophobia. Previous attempts by others to define this term have not succeeded in attracting consensus or widespread acceptance". [Gatestone Institute] Read more

France's divided response to Islam and extremism

While few areas of the world are immune from extremism, France feels its impact more than any other European country, an unenviable distinction that lies at the heart of President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to streamline the organisation of Islam.

As a source of jihadist fighters enlisting with ISIS and similar groups in Middle Eastern conflicts, as well as in terms of death and injury caused by repeated terrorist attacks, France has suffered disproportionate levels of social turmoil.

The challenges faced by the president – and community leaders who sometimes seem at a loss to offer effective guidance – go beyond questions of countering radicalisation.

Academics as well as Islamic figures recognise a glaring need to make young French Muslims feel a sense of belonging in a society riddled with racism and mutual suspicion.

But it is the hard statistical evidence of extremism that preoccupies the currently dominant centre and right of French politics, widening a fierce intellectual divide on causes and effects. [The National] Read more

Al-Qaeda warns Saudi crown prince his cinemas and WWE events are 'sinful'

Extremist group al-Qaeda has sent a warning to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince that his efforts to liberalise the conservative kingdom are “sinful projects”.

“The new era of [Mohammad bin Salman] replaced mosques with movie theatres,” the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said in a statement.

The group went on to condemn the prince for the Western “absurdities” which have “opened the door wide for corruption and moral degradation”.

The prince was given his title by his father King Salman a year ago. Since then he has sent shock waves through Saudi society, instigating wide-ranging social and economic reforms designed to wean the kingdom off its dependence on oil. [The Independent] Read more

01 June 2018

UK school only serves water and halal meat in canteen and bans pupils from bringing in packed lunches

A school has been branded “like a dictatorship” after it banned all packed lunches - and only serves water and halal meat.

Aureus School in Didcot, Oxon, has come under fire from parents for its strict stance on its food policy.

Packed lunches are banned, and pupils and staff sit down to eat in the canteen together with an emphasis on eating healthily and socially.

Students and staff get to choose from eating a hot halal meat meal, hot gluten-free vegetarian meal, a jacket potato, a salad, a pasta pot or a baguette.

The school insists that only water may be drunk on site because “hydrated brains learn better”.

.... Reiterating the Halal kitchen policy, the document states this is to 'celebrate the diversity of our country’s culture'. [Daily Mirror] Read more

The Tories have an Islamophobia problem. Will they tackle it?

This week, the Muslim Council of Britain – of which I am assistant secretary general – wrote to the Conservative chair, Brandon Lewis, detailing the many incidents of unchecked Islamophobia within his party. The MCB chose its words carefully, explicitly refraining from calling the party inherently Islamophobic. But the letter did call for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia so that the Conservatives could acknowledge the problem and find ways to fix it.

As chairman, Lewis is the person who could make a difference. But in recent weeks, he and the party’s deputy chair, James Cleverly, have played down Islamophobia among Conservatives despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary.

.... One MP, Bob Blackman, shared an anti-Muslim tweet from the far-right activist Tommy Robinson in 2016, though he claims it was an “error”. He also hosted a hardline anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist in parliament. He was also a member of Islamophobic Facebook groups including Britain for the British. [Guardian Cif] Read more

31 May 2018

Conservatives under fire for failing to tackle party's Islamophobia

The Conservatives have been accused of failing to take the issue of Islamophobia seriously by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which is calling for an independent inquiry into a problem it said had “poisoned” sections of the party.

Conservative party officials insisted they were treating the issue seriously, but the MCB cited nine cases of anti-Islam sentiment from Tory politicians and candidates since April, calling it “the tip of the iceberg”.

Sayeeda Warsi, the party’s former chair, said she had spent more than two years trying and failing to get her successors and Theresa May to engage with the problem, and warned that the Tories faced a wider institutional problem of Islamophobia.

.... Khan questioned why no action had been taken against Bob Blackman, the Harrow East MP, after he re-tweeted an anti-Islam message from the hard-right activist Tommy Robinson, and hosted a hardline Hindu nationalist, Tapan Ghosh, in parliament.

Blackman said he accidentally re-tweeted the Robinson post and had not known in advance that Ghosh was being invited to last October’s event. [The Guardian] Read more

Denmark becomes latest European country to ban full Islamic face veil in public spaces

The Danish parliament on Thursday passed a law banning the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces, becoming the latest European country to do so.

"Anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine," says the law, which was passed by 75 votes to 30.

Presented by the centre-right government, the legislation, which is to take effect on August 1, was also backed by the Social Democrats and the far-right Danish People's Party.

Wearing a burqa, which covers a person's entire face, or the niqab, which only shows the eyes, in public will lead to a fine of 1,000 kroner (£118). [The Telegraph] Read more